Thursday, 1 March 2012

ClassDojo, a digital age education tool

ClassDojo – encourage positive behaviour whilst engaging a classroom in minutes

Have you heard of ClassDojo?
It is a new real-time behaviour management tool for teachers called ClassDojo (

ClassDojo is a behaviour management tool that allows teachers to digitally monitor and record pupils’ behaviour and progress in real-time. For many teachers, parents and students, improving students’ behaviour is a hassle that gets in the way of effective teaching and learning.

Sam Chaudhary is the co-founder and CEO of ClassDojo. He achieved Double First Class Honours in Economics at Cambridge, and his co-founder Liam Don was a PhD candidate at Durham University. Together, they are creating a hugely successful student behaviour management tool based on his own experiences as a teacher. The system has been adopted by tens of thousands of teachers and students in 25 countries in just a few months since it launched; it also won a $75,000 Citigroup Innovation Prize, winning ‘Best Education Technology Startup of 2011’. Sam and Liam were subsequently invited to present their programme live on US national television on NBC’s Education Nation programme with and the Today Show. Here is a video demonstration of the tool:

ClassDojo will soon engage parents to fix behaviour problems in the home as well. The vision is that rather than the negative approach currently taken to behaviour, there is a huge opportunity for pupils to be successful, ‘whole’ individuals by going beyond building good grades alone, to actually building good character.

ClassDojo is inspired by some of the work on character development done by James Heckman. Heckman’s work shows that good life outcomes are secured by not just the development of cognitive skills, but crucially, of character skills,. This approach is slowly making its way to the UK, with thousands of teachers using ClassDojo on this side of the Atlantic. A focus on character development is something of a shift from the current UK system, but there is a growing school of thought that believes a move to placing more emphasis on character building will prove more effective than measures of cognitive achievement at raising standards and providing the kind of employment skills needed later in life, the premise being that the majority of jobs are not intellectually complex but they do require collaboration, confidence and motivation.

Recent news showed stats that only 59% of children aged five have a good level of child development. There have also been some comments from Prince Charles recently about the need for pupils to build character and for schools to educate the 'whole person' instead of just focusing on academic disciplines and his concerns about the number of young people leaving education with very little life skills such as confidence and motivation. One of the key points about ClassDojo’s vision is that it will encourage pupils to build these skills.




I have been asked to add this interesting post to my blog. Inevitably the digital age brings its own tools and ideas. On the whole, I tend to agree we need to move on with the times, and using the digital media can be only a bonus. The benefit of ClassDojo, from how I understand it, is for parents to get the feedback on their children's behaviour in the class.
But at the same time I feel that my expectations of what a school should do are somehow slightly different. For me the school is first and foremost a place of getting an education, and by that I mean an academic knowledge rather than social skills and confidence. Nowadays parents expect everything from school, from potty-training to learning how to use cutlery. The school should not be a substitute for parental guidance. This is not a criticism of ClassDojo, this is more of a disagreement on what the school should be doing. Prince Charles is perhaps not the best mouthpiece to promote life skills, coming from his privileged background and surrounded by servants who do everything for him. Academic disciplines should not be overlooked in favour of the social skills.
I would love to know what you think on the subject.


  1. I agree with you, school for my son was for obtaining an academic education, not for learning social skills, manners, morals or life skills, all of which were my responsibilty as a parent in my opinion.

  2. Yes, schools can only do so much. First and foremost, I feel it's about education and gaining qualifications.

    It's up to parents to try and steer their children in the right direction. It's difficult, I know, as our children are often influenced by their friends and feel an outcast if they don't comply with the rest of the group. Being a parent, or child, for that matter, isn't easy.

    We can only but try.

    Sharon x

  3. I agree that school should not take over the parental role and that they should be teaching academic skills. Saying that though I think there is too much academic pressure on children, too much testing and too little teaching of practical and creative skills. Not every child is academic and so often these children become disengaged and bored and can end up suffering low confidence and self-esteem. I'm sure if we revitalised the curriculum so that it was flexible to all childrens learning styles that we would end up improving the confidence of many of our young people. Deb x